In Matthew 16:18, Jesus calls Peter "blessed" and that he is Peter, and "on this rock I will build My church."
As the crucifixion was drawing near, Jesus told His disciples that the day was drawing near, and that they all would fall away on His account. But Peter quickly tells Jesus that no matter what happens, he will always be there for Him, no matter what the rest of the crowd does.
"Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will."
Even when Jesus looks at Peter and tells Him that he will indeed stray from Jesus and even disown Him, Peter assures Jesus that he would DIE before he would disown Him.
We all know how this one ends. A little while later, the rooster crows right after Peter told person number three that he doesn't even KNOW Jesus.
On Sunday, the youth pastor asked the youth group: How would YOU feel if your "best friend" not only treated you badly, but claimed that he didn't even know you?!
I have never thought about this story in these terms. I have had and am having such issues with friends right now. I don't know whether to walk away or whether to hold on to the friendships that I have. Do I say something when I feel mistreated? Or do I just let it go? Do I move on or do I drop everything to be there for the people who I thought would be my friends forever, even when they treat me badly?
I find a little bit of comfort (no matter how weird that sounds) that Jesus went through the same thing. Hebrews says He was tempted in every way and that He can sympathize with our weaknesses. Though I'm going through nothing like Jesus did, He sure had issues with His friends, even the one everyone thought of as the beloved disciple.
I have friends that told me they'd be there for me forever, and now they're not around. Just like Peter told Jesus. I have friends who said they would be there for me forever and now have turned away because I talk to them about the bad choices that they're making. Just like Peter...Jesus tried to warn him, but he was indignant that he would never be unfaithful to Jesus. And he made terrible mistakes. Three of them, in fact.
I'm thankful that Jesus understands. And that I have a Savior who cares.
He doesn't need us, but He wants us. And I am so grateful!